5 Minute Grammar Lesson – It’s? or its? or Its’?

Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson is a very serious topic. It’s one of the biggest grammar fails I see. Do yourself a HUGE favor and learn when to use IT’S, ITS, and ITS’. You will gain so much writing credibility. For REALS!

WeeklyGrammar - It's or Its or Its'

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5 Minute Grammar Lesson – IT’s or ITS or ITS’?

I’m thoroughly convinced a good 85% of the US population does not understand when to use IT’S, ITS, and ITS’. And here’s my confession: until I started teaching COLLEGE level composition classes, I’m not sure I understood either.

But here’s the deal.

IT’S

You wouldn’t say HIS’S to make His possessive would you? How about MY’S? And you shouldn’t say IT’S to notate possession either.

IT’S is a contraction that means IT IS. It is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER used to make the pronoun IT possessive.

If you want to use It’s – do me a favor. Do a quick test. Can you substitute IT IS and still have your sentence make sense? If not, DON’T USE IT!

For instance, I saw a BILLBOARD (imagine the expense this company went to to have this billboard made) recently on my drive back to Iowa from Missouri. It said:

“Deer Processing at IT’S Best.” My quick test will tell you that the billboard is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Deer Processing at It IS best? WRONG!

The billboard should read” “Deer processing at ITS best.” I debated on telling the deer processing. I wasn’t sure if they would bill me or send me some summer sausage. So I just kept my mouth shut.

But you might be bolder than I am and tell them! Let me know if you get some summer sausage from the deer processing company on Highway 61 in Northern Missouri!

ITS

Okay, so if IT’S really means IT IS, why don’t we use an apostrophe to make ITS possessive? You guys, I have no freaking idea. English is a really, really, really goofy language sometimes. But the truth of the matter is that if you want to notate possession, do NOT use an apostrophe with IT.

How did the turtle get inside its shell?

How did the dog find its bone?

ITS’

Any you guys. Seriously. ITS’ is NOT A WORD. Never, ever use ITS’. Never. Just no. It’s so wrong. 😉

Its or It's or ITS' 5 Minute Grammar Lesson

 

And that, my friends, is your 5 minute grammar lesson. Let me know how many places YOU see it’s misused. I guarantee if you look around, you’ll find plenty of examples!

Want more grammar posts? Here you go.

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Regardless or Irregardless?

Welcome back for another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic is regardless or irregardless? Which is right? Does it really matter?! Irregardless of if you honestly care, I’m telling you anyway. 🙂

Today's 5 Minute Grammar Lesson topic is regardless or irregardless! Do you know which one is not really a word Check back each week for another lesson.
5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Regardless or Irregardless?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but IRREGARDLESS is not a word. I hear a lot of people using it, however. The grammatically correct term is REGARDLESS.

Regardless

Regardless means “without regard.” It is a negative word. Regardless of whether my kids want to clean their rooms, sometimes I make them!

Irregardless

The pronoun IR- is also negative which means that when you add IR to Regardless, you’re guilty of a double negative like: I don’t want nothing. The fix is quick: simply banish the word IRREGARDLESS from your vocabulary.

It’s true that some dictionaries list IRREGARDLESS, but they also mention it as NONSTANDARD – jargon, a dialect, or regional variation.

If you want to sound educated, don’t use IRREGARDLESS. And that is your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson. 🙂

regardless-or-irregardless

Want more grammar posts?

It’s or Its?

Less or Fewer?

Top 10 Mistakes Bloggers Make {and how to stop}

Who’s or WHOSE?

Who or Whom?

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Poisonous or Venomous?

Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson come from a young friend in Florida and explains when to use  POISONOUS or VENOMOUS. Many thanks to Liam for addressing this topic in my 5 Minute Grammar Lesson Series!

Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference

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Poisonous or Venomous – What’s the Difference?

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

Liam, the author of this post, is making field notes about snakes!

I (Liam) have owned a snake for over 9 months now, and I am frequently showing it off to guests. Some don’t want me to open the cage, some want to hold it, and some are just fine watching it through the glass. I love educating people about snakes, and am almost always asked questions. There are many different questions that people ask me.

However, the most frequently asked question is by far, ‘Is she poisonous?’, to which I reply, ‘She is not venomous.’ I understand how people can get these two words mixed up, as many forms of media incorrectly refer to these two terms. People will often hear a snake or other animal called poisonous, and begin to call venomous animals poisonous as well. In this blog post, I will explain the differences between the two, and give some examples of animals, especially reptiles, that display these traits.

Poisonous

The most commonly used term that inexperienced people use when discussing snakes in poisonous. However, very few snake species are poisonous, though there are quite a few amphibians that are poisonous, such as poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae). The best way to describe something that is poisonous is that if you come in contact with the animal, you will feel the effects of toxins that are secreted through the skin. The animal will usually have bright colors to warn potential predators not to touch them or try to eat them.

Poisonous animals tend to have this defensive mechanism only as a last resort. 90% of snakes will flee as soon as you come near them, and will not bother you if you do not bother them. However, when feeling very threatened, they will secrete toxins, play dead, or even bite to defend themselves (more on that later). Remember, if someone is handling a snake, then the snake would not be poisonous, and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Liam's mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, "This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn't offer to remove it for him."

Liam’s mom, Chantal who took this picture, says, “This one still had a retained eyecap from his last shed. We didn’t offer to remove it for him.”

Venomous

The other term, venomous, is typically used by people who have experience with snakes, or who have talked to and have been educated by someone who does. Venomous is generally the correct term for snakes and other reptiles. Over 600 species of snakes around the world are venomous, but only a certain percentage of these are even life-threatening. An animal that is venomous must inject its venom, either through, teeth, saliva, or fangs. When a venomous snake bites, it creates a wound, and then inserts the venom into that wound.

Some snakes inject more venom than other snakes, and some have more deadly types of venom. There are some main types of venom: cytotoxic venom, neurotoxic venom, and hemotoxic venom. Different snakes can have different types of venom, based on several factors. One of these is prey items. Certain animals that the snakes eat can lead to different types of venom production. Don’t forget, venomous animals are animals that must inject venom into their prey, such as snakes.

To the amateur, poisonous and venomous might seem to be the same thing, but when you understand the differences, they appear quite different. Poisonous is dangerous when it comes in contact with the skin. Venomous animals must inject their venoms into their victim, and have various types of venom. I hope that you learned about the difference between poisonous and venomous. 

Today's 5 Minute Grammar explains the difference between Poisonous or Venomous Which one should you use when Stop by on every Sunday for a new topic!

Many thanks to Liam for writing this educational post! His parting wish is this: “The next time you see someone incorrectly use these terms, make sure you don’t just let false information get passed on. Step in, and educate one more person about the differences between poisonous and venomous.”

Facts are facts, you guys. “Alternative facts” have no place in my world.

Want more grammar?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Welcome back for another 5 Minute Grammar Lesson! Today’s topic is Toward or Towards? Which is right? Does it really matter?!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog.*

5 Minute Grammar Lesson – Toward? or Towards?

Today’s topic is actually pretty short, you guys. Best I can tell, both toward and towards are correct. The difference simply depends on where you’re from.

Are you American?

If so, TOWARD is the preferred version and TOWARDS is technically counted as incorrect in formal writing. I should remember this when I write blog posts, because until I just researched this topic for my post, I honestly didn’t know the difference.

Are you Canadian?

Then, TOWARD is also your preferred version.

Maybe you’re British or Australian?

In your case, the preferred version is TOWARDS and it probably really grates on your nerves to see Americans moving toward anything.

And that’s really all I have to say about that topic. 🙂 Do you have anything to add? 

5 minute grammar lesson. Toward or towards

Want more grammar posts?

Bias or Biased?

Do to or Due to?

Broke or Broken?

Who’s or WHOSE?

How to make the word PEOPLE possessive

And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:

Grammarly – Instantly fix over 250 types of errors with this free web-based grammar checker!

Strunk & White Elements of Style

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 

The Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Check back next Sunday for another quick grammar lesson! And if you’d like to get weekly grammar tips delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to my once a week newsletter. I promise I won’t spam you. 🙂